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National Sleep Awareness Week 2013
last updated:
Mon, 2/18/2013 1:35 PM
National Sleep Awareness Week™, which takes place March 3-10, 2013, is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. The week begins with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time, where Americans lose one hour of sleep. 

As a member of the Foundation's Sleep Care Center, Methodist Healthcare will host events in our community throughout the week, providing sleep education to the public. Participate in Methodist Healthcare’s National Sleep Awareness Week activities the following ways:

Tune in to WYPL- TV 18 for the February Power of Sleep segment. This segment features Dr. William Mariencheck, a physician with Mid South Pulmonary Specialists and Kristi Lester, from the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center. This segment will air:  

 

  • Mondays: 3 am and 9 pm
  • Tuesdays: 12:30 am, 6:30 am, 6:30 pm
  • Wednesdays: 5 am, 8 pm, 11:30 pm
  • Thursdays: 12:30 pm
  • Fridays: 3 pm
  • Saturdays: 1:30 am
  • Sundays: 6:00 pm

 


Attend a community seminar. Methodist Sleep Disorders Center will host a community seminar Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 pm at Germantown’s Great Hall Conference Room. Dr. Suzette Panton will lead this educational seminar. Dr. Panton is a Board Certified Sleep Specialist through the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Panton received her medical degree from the University of the West Indies.  She completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Columbia University in New York and completed her Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Panton is an active member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  In addition to being board certified in Sleep Medicine, Dr. Panton is also board certified in Critical Care Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine; all through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

For more information on this community seminar, please email Kristi.Lester@mlh.org or call 901-820-3442.

Mark your calendar for Daylight Savings Time.  Don't Forget to Spring Forward! Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 10. Set your clocks one hour ahead.

If you believe you or your loved one may have a sleep disorder, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine your best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease
last updated:
Mon, 2/18/2013 1:32 PM

February is Heart Month

According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation, 71% of all patients diagnosed with heart disease have sleep apnea.  50% of Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients have high blood pressure. Therefore, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is present in a large number of patients with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke, and irregular heart rhythms.  

If you or your loved one have heart disease and believe you may also have a sleep disorder, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine your best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

The Power of Sleep Airing in February
last updated:
Tue, 2/05/2013 9:38 AM
Tune in to WYPL-TV 18 on the dates below to watch The Power of Sleep, sponsored by the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center.

FEBRUARY
Mondays at 3 am and 9 pm
Tuesdays at 12:30 am, 6:30 am, 6:30 pm
Wednesdays at 5 am, 8 pm, 11:30 pm
Thursdays at 12:30 pm
Fridays at 3 pm
Saturdays at 1:30 am
Sundays at 6:00 pm

For more information about the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center,
Visit www.methodisthealth.org/sleep or call 901-683-0044.
Tags:

Be Wary of Drowsy Driving
last updated:
Fri, 1/18/2013 11:33 AM

  • Sleepiness can impair driving performance as much or more so than alcohol, studies show. (Dawson and Reid, 1997; Powell, 2001)
  • The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that one out of every six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents, and one out of eight (12.5%) crashes requiring hospitalization of car drivers or passengers is due to drowsy driving. (AAA, 2010)
  • One analysis estimated the cost of automobile accidents attributed to sleepiness to be between $29.2 to $37.9 billion. (Leger, 1994)
  • (41%) admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point.; one in ten drivers (10%) reporting they did so within the past year. (AAA, 2010)
  • More than one-quarter of drivers (27%) admitting they had driven while they were “so sleepy that [they] had a hard time keeping [their] eyes open” within the past month (AAA, 2010)

Researchers estimate that more than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. (Institute of Medicine, 2005) One of the most serious consequences of insufficient sleep is traffic accidents due to drowsy driving. A recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that one out of every six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents, and one out of eight (12.5%) crashes requiring hospitalization of car drivers or passengers is due to drowsy driving. (AAA, 2010) One analysis estimated the cost of automobile accidents attributed to sleepiness to be between $29.2 to $37.9 billion. (Leger, 1994) Experts suspect that even these disturbingly high figures underestimate the number of accidents or near-miss accidents due to drowsy driving because of drivers being unaware or not admitting they were drowsy at the time of the accident, or police not acquiring that information.

The prevalent hazard of drowsy driving is underlined by the number of drowsy drivers that surveys reveal are still on the road. A recent AAA survey found that two out of every five drivers (41%) admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point, with one in ten drivers (10%) reporting they did so within the past year, and more than one-quarter of drivers (27%) admitting they had driven while they were “so sleepy that [they] had a hard time keeping[their] eyes open” within the past month.(AAA, 2010) In the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America 2009 poll, more than half of adults (54%) reported they have driven at least once while drowsy in the past year, with almost a third (28%) reporting that they do so at least once per month.


If you believe you or your loved one may have a sleep disorder, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine you best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
What Is Narcolepsy?
last updated:
Wed, 1/02/2013 1:13 PM

Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that causes a potentially disabling level of daytime sleepiness. This sleepiness may occur in the form of repeated and irresistible “sleep attacks.” In these episodes a person suddenly falls asleep in unusual situations, such as while eating, walking or driving. Narcolepsy affects less than one percent of men and women, typically appearing in teens and young adults and then persisting for a lifetime. 

Sleepiness in narcolepsy is not the result of inadequate sleep; people with narcolepsy still experience daytime sleepiness even when they sleep well at night. Sleepiness is more likely to occur in boring, monotonous situations that require no active participation (such as watching television). If not recognized and appropriately managed, narcolepsy can drastically and negatively affect the quality of a person’s life.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

The main symptoms associated with narcolepsy are:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness - usually the first symptom to appear in people who have narcolepsy.
  • Cataplexy - a sudden loss of muscle tone, usually triggered by emotional stimuli such as laughter, surprise, or anger.
  • Hypnogogic hallucinations - during transition from wakefulness to sleep, the patient has bizarre, often frightening dream-like experiences that incorporate his or her real environment.
  • Sleep paralysis - a temporary inability to move during sleep-wake transitions. Sleep paralysis may last for a few seconds to several minutes and may accompany hypnagogic hallucinations.
  • Disturbed nocturnal sleep – waking up repeatedly throughout the night.
  • Leg jerks, nightmares, and restlessness.

Treatment 

Narcolepsy cannot be cured. Symptoms can usually be controlled or improved so that sufferers experience symptoms less frequently and lead fairly normal lives. Treatment plans have several aspects: medication, behavior treatment, and management of your environment.

If you believe you may have narcolepsy, inform your primary care physician or make an appointment for an evaluation with a Sleep Specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center. To find a physician in Memphis or Olive Branch that specializes in sleep disorders, please call 901.683.0044. 

Sleepwalking
last updated:
Tue, 12/04/2012 1:57 PM

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the prevalence of sleepwalking in the general population is estimated to be between 1% and 15%. While the onset or persistence of sleepwalking in adulthood is common, the prevalence of sleepwalking is much higher in children between the ages of three and seven, and occurs more often in children with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleepwalking is more likely to occur if a person is sleep deprived. Additional triggers may include sedative agents (including alcohol), febrile illnesses, and certain medications.

Sleepwalking, formally known as somnambulism, is a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while asleep. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the episode can be very brief (a few seconds or minutes) or it can last for 30 minutes or longer, but most episodes last for less than 10 minutes. Because a sleepwalker typically remains in deep sleep throughout the episode, he or she may be difficult to awaken and will probably not remember the sleepwalking incident.

Symptoms of sleepwalking disorder range from simply sitting up in bed and looking around, to walking around the room or house, to leaving the house and even driving long distances. It is a common misconception that a sleepwalker should not be awakened. In fact, it can be quite dangerous not to wake a sleepwalker.

So how do you know if you or your loved one is sleepwalking? You may think this has an obvious answer, but the sleepwalker may exhibit these additional symptoms:

  • Sleeptalking
  • Little or no memory of the event
  • Difficulty arousing the sleepwalker during an episode
  • Inappropriate behavior such as urinating in closets (more common in children)
  • Screaming (when sleepwalking occurs in conjunction with sleep terrors)
  • Violent attacks on the person trying to awaken the sleepwalker

TREATMENT:
While there is no specific treatment for sleepwalking, simply improving sleep hygiene may eliminate the problem. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist about ways to prevent injury during the episodes and about the possibility of underlying illness.

If you believe you or your loved one may be experiencing sleepwalking, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine you best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Sources:
National Sleep Foundation
US National Library of Medicine

Is It Time for a New Mattress?
last updated:
Tue, 9/18/2012 4:05 PM

Experts from WebMD share insight as to when it’s time to reinvest in your sleep.

To get a good night's sleep you've got to start with the basics and your mattress is the first building block to a restful slumber.

When to Part With Your Old Mattress

"Today's mattresses are made to last a lifetime. But you probably shouldn't plan on keeping yours for that long. Our bodies change over time, so the mattress that was once a joy to sleep on may no longer feel comfortable a few years down the road," says Michael Breus, PhD, a WebMD sleep expert and author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.

In addition, mattresses collect dust mites, fungus, and other germs that can exacerbate allergies and impact your sleep patterns. After 10 to 15 years, it's time to think about buying a new bed.

Ultimately, the experts say that the best bed for you is the one that feels most comfortable. "There's no mattress that's going to save your body when you get only five hours of sleep," says Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. In order to feel your best, you need to get enough rest… no matter what type of mattress you're sleeping on.

How do you know if the bed you're sleeping on is the right one?

"If you wake up in the morning and have some low back pain and can stretch and get rid of it in 15 or 30 minutes, that means you're on an inappropriate mattress for you," said Breus. “The right mattress, on the other hand, is one on which you feel no pressure, almost like you're floating in air.”

If you're looking for a new mattress, experts suggest testing it in the store and lying down on each mattress in the position in which you normally sleep. Breus suggests spending at least 10 to 15 minutes on the bed. And, bring your own pillow! The more you can replicate the way you'll be sleeping on the mattress once you get it home, the better your chances of picking the right one.

Tips & Warnings on purchasing a new mattress:

  • Beds come in six different sizes:
    King (sometimes called eastern king), 76 inches wide by 80 inches long;
    California king, 72 inches wide by 84 inches long;
    Queen, 60 inches wide by 80 inches long;
    Full (or double), 54 inches wide by 75 inches long;
    Twin (or single), 39 inches wide by 75 inches long; and
    Twin Extra-Long, 39 inches wide by 80 inches long
  • Try to bargain for the best price. Shopping for a mattress is similar to buying a car in that there is often room for negotiation.
  • Pillow tops add an extra layer of padding to the top of the mattress but tend to sag more quickly than thinner padding on mattresses.
  • Hard mattresses don't necessarily offer the best support. If a mattress is too hard, it may add uncomfortable pressure to your hips and shoulders.

To ease the confusion of buying a mattress, the Better Sleep Council has developed guidelines that walk you through the process and help you make the purchase of your dreams. Click here to access the guide.

If you have a proper mattress and still struggle with sleep, you may have a sleep disorder that should be discussed with your physician. To find out more about disorders that may be impacting your sleep, visit our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

References:

WebMD.com: By Lisa Zamosky/ Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Ehow.com

Better Sleep Council

Causes of Morning Headaches
last updated:
Mon, 8/06/2012 1:33 PM

Morning headaches are usually an infrequent, ordinary experience for all people, children or adults. This is pain in various parts of the head, not confined to just one area.  Most headaches are minor, go away quickly and do not come back.  However, because headaches can sometimes be clues to serious problems, they should never be ignored. If you are experiencing headaches as often as every week, you should talk with your doctor to rule out potential medical disorders as a cause.  

Some common causes of morning headaches include but are not limited to:

  • Caffeine Withdrawal – Caffeine can have a stimulating effect as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. Once in the body, caffeine will persist for several hours: it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be out of your body.  Caffeine in moderate amounts increases alertness, but can result in insomnia (the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep), irritability, and yes, morning headaches.  Try to consume as little caffeine as you can in a day.  
  • Bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding – People who grind and grit their teeth at night often experience headaches upon awakening in the morning.  People who grind their teeth may be unaware that they are doing this. Usually, they end up with cracked or chipped teeth and lots of soreness in the jaw area of their face.  Sometimes, the pain feels as though it is coming from the ears. Teeth grinding can usually be corrected with oral appliances designed for this. See your doctor and/or dentist about this if you think you are grinding your teeth at night. 
  • Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) – People with this syndrome often experience droopy eyelids, dry, red swollen eyes, various other symptoms and morning headaches.  Interestingly, a recent study in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reported that FES is strongly associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.
  • Unusual Body Positions While Sleeping – Some adults, but mostly children, experience tension headaches in the mornings from sleeping in unusual body/head/neck positions throughout the night. If you have children, you can appreciate the many positions that you find them in when you awaken them in the morning, i.e., head hanging off the side of the bed, sitting in almost upright position, etc. 
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome – People who have apnea where they quit breathing in their sleep at night, often experience morning headaches.  If you snore and are experiencing morning headaches, you should talk with your doctor or a sleep specialist about this. 

According to WebMD, a study by a University of North Carolina sleep specialist provides some scientific evidence that good sleep habits can reduce the number of headaches and their severity.

Migraine sufferers who cleaned up their act reduced their headache frequency by 29% and their headache intensity by 40% compared with those who didn't change their sleep habits, Anne Calhoun, MD, reported at the 48th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in Los Angeles.

If you suffer from morning headaches and you believe it may be Obstructive Sleep Apnea, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine your best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/20061101/improve-sleep-habits-to-cut-migraines

Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea
last updated:
Fri, 6/15/2012 8:39 AM

The majority of patients with type 2 diabetes also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when an airway is blocked or has narrowed during sleep.  While these two conditions are irrefutably linked, it is difficult to determine which one induces the other. A better understanding of the relationship may have important health implications for patients of either condition.

The interactions between obesity, OSA and type 2 diabetes are extremely complex and involve multiple pathways. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with alterations in glucose metabolism and therefore places patients at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Because sleep apnea increases stress on the body, blood sugar levels rise, which makes it very important for patients with type 2 diabetes to have OSA treated.  Undiagnosed OSA may interfere with lifestyle treatments for diabetes.

While it is uncertain where the relationship originates and which condition induces the other, acknowledging the link between type 2 diabetes and OSA enables health professionals to better inform and treat patients.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and have trouble sleeping, consult your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 to determine you best treatment option.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252916

http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/sleep-apnea-connection.aspx

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/110369.php

May is Better Sleep Month
last updated:
Tue, 5/01/2012 11:22 AM

Refreshing sleep is of huge importance when staying healthy. Better Sleep Month, supported by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), aims to raise awareness about the benefits of better sleep and how poor sleep can disrupt our lives. As with diet and exercise, sleep is crucial to our physical, emotional and mental health.

Here are some tips to get a better night's sleep:

  • Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. This will help keep your biological clock in sync.
  • Exercise at the right time for you. Regular exercise can help you get a good night's sleep. The timing and intensity of exercise seems to play a key role in its effects on sleep. If you are the type of person who gets energized or becomes more alert after exercise, it may be best not to exercise in the evening. Regular exercise in the morning even can help relieve insomnia, according to a study.
  • Develop a sleep ritual by doing the same things each night just before bed. Parents often establish a routine for their kids, but it can help adults, too. A routine cues the body to settle down for the night.
  • Unwind early in the evening so that worries and distractions don't keep you from getting a good night's sleep.
  • Cut caffeine. Simply put, caffeine can keep you awake. It can stay in your body longer than you might think – the effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off. Cutting out caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Eat right, sleep tight. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. An over-full belly can keep you up. Also, try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This can keep you from having to get up to use the bathroom during the night.
  • Create a restful sleep environment – sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation – to get your best night's rest.

If you're sleeping as much as you need, but still find that you're sleepy during the day, you should discuss this with your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 or visit us on our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

National Sleep Awareness Week
last updated:
Tue, 3/06/2012 10:02 AM

National Sleep Awareness Week™, which takes place March 5-11, 2012, is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. The week begins with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time, where Americans lose one hour of sleep.

How much do you know about sleep disorders? Review these statements from WebMD and learn which are true and which are not.

Snoring can be harmful.

True: Aside from bothering other people, snoring is not harmful. However, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that is associated with significant medical problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of reduced or no airflow throughout the night. People with sleep apnea may remember waking up frequently during the night gasping for breath.

You can "cheat" on the amount of sleep you get.

False: Sleep experts say that most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Getting fewer hours of sleep will eventually need to be replenished with additional sleep in the next few nights. Our body does not seem to get used to less sleep than it needs.

Teens need more sleep than adults.

True: Teens need at least 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep each night, compared to an average of seven to nine hours each night for most adults. The internal biological clocks of teenagers can keep them awake later in the evening and can interfere with waking up in the morning.

Insomnia is characterized only by difficulty falling asleep.

False: One or more of the following four symptoms are usually associated with insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep.
  • Frequent awakenings.
  • Waking up feeling unrefreshed.

Daytime sleepiness means a person is not getting enough sleep.

False: While excessive daytime sleepiness often occurs if you don't get enough sleep, it can also occur even after a good night's sleep. Such sleepiness can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea.

Your brain rests during sleep.

False: The body rests during sleep, not the brain. The brain remains active, gets recharged, and still controls many body functions including breathing during sleep.

The experts at Methodist’s Sleep Disorders Center recommend the tips below for maximizing your sleep cycle.

Tips for Sleeping Smart

  • Establish a regular bed and wake time
  • Avoid nicotine altogether and avoid caffeine close to bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise regularly (but complete the workout at least 3 hours before bedtime)
  • Establish a consistent relaxing “wind-down” bedtime routine
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
  • Discuss the appropriate way to take any sleep aid with a healthcare professional

For more information on Sleep Disorders, visit us online at http://www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

Poor Sleep Can Result in Heart Disease
last updated:
Fri, 2/03/2012 10:41 AM

More than 18 million Americans have Sleep Apnea Syndrome*

What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person quits breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds while sleeping. Sleep apnea occurs frequently throughout the sleep cycle.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea? Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Snoring
  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
  • Morning Headaches
  • Bedwetting

So what is the connection between heart disease and poor sleep? People with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and diabetes have a high prevalence of sleep apnea. Whether sleep apnea actually causes heart disease is still unclear; however, if you have sleep apnea, the chance that you will develop hypertension in the future increases significantly.

Also, because events that occur while you are sleeping tend to carry over into your daytime or normal “awake” hours, people with moderate to severe sleep apnea often develop high blood pressure.

How does my body react if I have sleep apnea? Your blood pressure rises when you have sleep apnea. Because you stop breathing with sleep apnea, the oxygen levels in your blood often fall below normal levels¬. As a result, your brain sends signals through the nervous system that essentially tell the blood vessels to constrict or "tighten up" in order to increase the flow of oxygen to the vital organs like the heart and the brain. This “tightening” of the blood vessels increases the pressure of the blood flowing through them.

The good news. The good news for patients with heart disease is that with treatment of your sleep apnea, your chances of improving your condition are considerably better. Those who are treated for sleep apnea who also have a heart condition often see significant improvement in the measures of blood pressure, heart failure, and irregular heartbeats.

If you or anyone you know has heart disease, they should discuss the possibility of sleep apnea with their treating physician.

To find out more about disorders that may be impacting your sleep, visit our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

*According to the National Sleep Foundation.

Sleep Disorders Can Impact Resolutions
last updated:
Thu, 1/05/2012 11:21 AM

The start of the new year often motivates us to set goals or resolutions for improving our lives in the upcoming year. Did you know that the most popular “New Year’s Resolutions” have a positive impact on the quality of sleep that a person gets? Furthermore, did you know that some sleep disorders can make it almost impossible for a person to meet their goals for the new year without seeking help from a sleep specialist first?
 
Weight loss is the most common new year resolution among friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and perhaps, even yourself. Did you know that sleep effects your ability to reach your resolution goals? A lifestyle of healthy eating, exercising, and appropriate weight control leads to a better quality of sleep for people of all ages. Quality sleep in turn helps control weight and mood. When we are getting enough quality sleep, our hormone levels and metabolism remain more stable and constant. Therefore, it is easier for our bodies to utilize the fats and sugars in our blood in a healthy way, keeping us from gaining weight.
 
For some, an undiagnosed sleep disorder makes it impossible to stick to their new year’s resolution of losing weight. An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, which is often associated with people who are overweight. Sleep Apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person quits breathing for at least 10 seconds or longer while they are sleeping. If a person is overweight and suffering from undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea, he/she may not be as motivated to exercise or to diet. Sleep apnea leads to daytime sleepiness. Excessive daytime sleepiness makes it that much harder to begin and stay with an exercise program. Sleep apnea also contributes to obesity by making it more difficult for a person to process glucose (sugar) in the blood, much like a person with diabetes.
 
Sometimes the best way to treat obesity and stick to your goal can be to treat an underlying sleep problem. Successful treatment of sleep apnea will often motivate patients to effectively lose weight, which will in turn help their challenge of obesity and the sleep apnea.

If you are overweight or obese and sleep poorly or feel tired during the day, you should talk to your primary care clinician about a referral to a sleep center or contact the Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044. For more information, visit us online at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy
last updated:
Mon, 7/18/2011 1:25 PM

Several sleep disorders can be caused or made worse by pregnancy.  Some disorders, such as sleep apnea, may also be associated with complications during pregnancy such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or low birth weight.  Women with sleep apnea may also experience more daytime sleepiness compared to women who do not have sleep apnea during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and feel you may suffer from sleep apnea, it is very important that you talk to your doctor.

SYMPTOMS:
Here are the common sleep problems and their symptoms that may occur during pregnancy:

  • Sleep apnea – Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person quits breathing in his or her sleep repeatedly.  Sleep apnea is often described as heavy snoring followed by long, quiet pauses with no breathing, and then an abrupt arousal with gasping and/or choking sounds during sleep.  Excessive daytime sleepiness is a result of sleep apnea.  If you are experiencing snoring and sleepiness, you should talk with your physician and ask about having your blood pressure and urine protein checked, especially if you have swollen ankles or headaches.
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS) - Symptoms of RLS include unpleasant feelings in the legs, sometimes described as creepy, tingly or achy. These feelings are worse at night or in the hours before bed and they are temporarily relieved by movement or stretching.   Most often patients with RLS also have nocturnal myoclonus, which is a sleep disorder where patients kick, jerk, or move their legs and/or arms all through the night.  Ask about your iron and folate levels at your next doctor’s appointment if you have symptoms of RLS or myoclonus.  
  • Insomnia – Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early or feeling unrefreshed. Insomnia related to stress or anxiety about labor, delivery and/or balancing work and motherhood may result in significant sleep loss. The discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, back pain and fetal movements may also disturb sleep.
  • Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux (nighttime GERD) – GERD, also known as heartburn, is considered a normal part of pregnancy. However, nighttime symptoms of GERD can damage the esophagus and disrupt sleep during pregnancy.  If you are experiencing GERD, you should sleep with your upper body at an incline or elevated by at least 30 degrees and/or sleep on your left side.  Try to avoid eating at least within 4 hours of your sleep time. 

For more information about sleep disorders, please visit our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep or contact us at 901.683.0044, option #3.   

---

Kristi Lester is the Manager of the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.

The truth about common sleep myths
last updated:
Mon, 5/16/2011 3:37 PM

Quality sleep is one of the most important--and often misunderstood--keys to a healthy lifestyle. Kristi Lester, Manager of the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center, shares why some of the things you've heard about sleep may not be the real story.

Myth #1: When a person is snoring, they are getting really good, restful sleep.

Reality: Although snoring appears harmless and more humorous when Larry, Curly, and Moe are doing it, snoring is a sign that not enough air is going into a person's windpipe. Snoring or pauses in breathing often indicate a serious, life-threatening sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Myth #2: I can function just fine with 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

Reality: The vast majority of adults function best with 7.5 - 8.5 hours of sleep every night. Many individuals who get less than that amount struggle with memory, problem-solving, and emotional problems.

Myth #3: I never discuss my sleep problems or concerns about sleepiness with my primary care physician because it really isn't important to my health.

Reality: Sleep isn't just "a break" from our daily lives. It is an active state important for renewing our minds and bodies each day. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. There are more than 80 sleep disorders that lead to a lowered quality of life and poor health. Many disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea are life-threatening, as they may lead to heart attacks, strokes, depression, and other debilitating diseases and conditions. Sleepiness is often a complication of untreated sleep disorders and endangers lives every day by contributing to traffic accidents. You should always discuss any concerns that you have regarding sleepiness or your sleep in general with your primary care physician.

Myth #4: People who are sleepy during the day are "lazy."

Reality: Excessive sleepiness often indicates that the person is not getting enough sleep or that he or she has a sleep disorder that requires treatment. People with daytime sleepiness often fall asleep at traffic lights and stop signs, while watching television, during meetings, or while sitting in front of a computer. This is not normal behavior and a person should talk with their primary care physician about these issues.

Please tune in to Comcast Cable Channel 18, WYPL's The Power of Sleep in May 2011 where Dr. Merrill Wise will discuss these and many more common myths about sleep and sleep disorders. The Power of Sleep airs every month on the following days and times:

Mondays - 3:00 a.m.; 9:00 p.m.
Tuesdays - 12:30 a.m.; 6:30 a.m.; 6:30 p.m.
Wednesdays - 4:30 a.m.; 11:00 p.m.
Thursdays - 12:30 p.m.
Fridays - 3:00 p.m.; 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays - 2:00 a.m.; 10:00 a.m.
Sundays - 6:00 p.m.

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Kristi Lester is the Manager of the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please call the Sleep Disorders Center for more information at 901.683.0044.

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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000

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